Security

Ninety-five percent of e-mails sent in 2007 are junk

Barracuda Networks released its annual spam report, which shows between 90 to 95 percent of all e-mail sent in 2007 is spam.

Barracuda Networks released its annual spam report, which shows between 90 to 95 percent of all e-mail sent in 2007 is spam. This is based on an analysis of more than 1 billion daily e-mail messages sent to its more than 50,000 customers worldwide.

The above figures represent an increase from the estimated 85 to 90 percent of all e-mails being spam in 2006.

It appears that the CAN-SPAM Act was, as expected by many, useless in curbing spam. According to the report:

This growing proportion is even more significant when compared to 2004, when the federal CAN-SPAM Act, which set parameters for sending unsolicited email and defined penalties for spammers, went into effect. At that time spam was 70 percent of all email. In 2001, spam accounted for only five percent of email messages.

Interestingly, Barracuda Networks' poll, as dissected by CNET's Matt Asay, shows that 50 percent of users received five or fewer spam e-mails in their inbox per day. About 65 percent received less than 10 spam messages each day, while 13 percent were inundated with 50 or more spam e-mails daily.

In addition, spam techniques have changed over the years:

  • 2007 - Obfuscation techniques and increased usage of attachments, such as PDF spam
  • 2006 - Image spam, botnets
  • 2005 - Rotating URL spam
  • 2004 - Automated generation of spam variants
  • 2003 - Open relays, blast emails, spoofing

I wonder what kind of spam the year 2008 will bring. What are your thoughts on this matter?

About

Paul Mah is a writer and blogger who lives in Singapore, where he has worked for a number of years in various capacities within the IT industry. Paul enjoys tinkering with tech gadgets, smartphones, and networking devices.

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